Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager's Perspective

Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager's Perspective


"Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager's Perspective" is the personal, unashamed, and brave story of Christine Frey. BRAIN XP IS THE FIRST BOOK WRITTEN BY A YOUNG TEEN TO OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE LEARNING HOW TO COPE WITH MENTAL CHALLENGES. In her own teenage writing style, Christine describes her struggle with early onset psychosis. The terrible symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, began when Christine was twelve years old. In her personal account of life lived with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, Christine ensures that the reader will fully grasp the true meaning of mental illness and its impact on the emerging sense of self of a teenager or young adult. In writing this book at age 16, Christine demonstrates a strong passion for advocating on behalf of others who have experienced similar brain disorders. She turns her own experience of struggling to understand herself into an example for others to learn from. Through her Brain XP Project, Christine embraces the challenge to educate and lead others to understanding and confronting the brain disorder called "mental illness". Rather than hide, isolate, and feel embarrassed, she tackles stigma head on. "Brain XP" will resonate with young people and is a must read for parents, family members, and friends who are worried about the mental well-being of the teen or young adult in their lives.

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Christine XP


"Brain XP was born when my Mom & I were walking our dog Sparky. I had recently been diagnosed with a mental illness. I hate the words "mental illness" - they sound negative and harsh. I wanted to create a more positive term for mental challenges - I now have Brain XP. My mind & others like me share some incredible mental gifts - our minds are EXPANDED in special ways - we are unusually Creative, Empathetic, Insightful & Intuitive! Do we have bad days - of course we do! Don't you? But, with a little help - we can navigate the not so good days - just like every other young person learns to do. What we can't navigate is Stigma, Isolation & being Feared. We are normal teenagers & just need each other's support - please be our friends."
Christine Marie Frey
"Christine XP"

Christine XP is 16 year old Christine Marie Frey, a teenager with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, who is dedicated to ending the stigma toward other teenagers with mental challenges by the founding of the “Brain XP” Community – the use of contemporary music, autobiographical book, videos, social media & public speaking that reaches out to teenagers to show them they are not crazy nor alone, but rather – their brains are EXPANDED and they are special. Christine's first book and album, both entitled Brain XP, became commercially available on April 28th, which has been proclaimed "Brain XP Day" in her hometown of San Diego, CA by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Christine lives in San Diego, California with her parents, Hans & Debbie, and older brother, James. Christine was brought up in a practicing Catholic family & went to private school from preschool to 8th grade. Christine starting having signs of depression & psychosis at age 12. She received enormous support from her 7th grade teachers & school administration & started counseling. After struggling with self harm, hallucinations, hospitalization, and her forced removal from school 6 months shy of her 8th grade graduation, Christine felt isolated & alone, but she never lost faith. On her journey to wellness, Christine started journaling, writing lyrics and music, and taught herself to play guitar as her primary coping strategies. Christine founded the Brain XP Community to advocate for other teens like herself and change the language about mental health. Christine is committed to ending the stigma associated with mental illness and foster the normalization discussing mental wellness.